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  1. #1

    Default Hello from Sonoma County, CA!

    Hello all!

    I'm glad to be here! I was lurking here a couple of years ago after my son had a disastrous start to kindergarten and we were starting to think that homeschool might be our only option. We've since found a school for the kiddo, for kids on the autism spectrum, and he's been doing's a great school for getting him services and social skills/life-coping skills, but not super great academically. Plus I'm sick of how much screen time he's getting there. And he's actually starting to complain about how he doesn't learn anything at school.

    So, I've been going through all his schoolwork samples and comparing notes with a friend - her son is in second grade as well, but in public school, and I'm thinking my kiddo is pretty far behind, academically. I co-parent with my ex, and neither one of us are able to go full on homeschool, plus kiddo needs the services at his current school, but we are both on board for finding some good supplemental materials to do at home, to fill his need for wanting to learn more more more.

    If anyone else is experiencing something similar, I'd love to chat about ideas and solutions!

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  3. #2


    Welcome! My youngest has apraxia, and is enrolled in a charter homeschool hybrid here in California. We have an individualized learning plan, and he gets the services he needs from the state (instead of out of pocket).
    I hear you on him being ignored academically! I have a friend in Chicago who says her ASD son learns NOTHING, that the public school is just daycare.

    Do you have time, between you and your ex, to do lessons? Honestly, I spend more time on speech and OT practice, than I do on academics. A twenty minute lesson on reading, another on math, and then reading a Ranger Rick article or watching a social studies or science documentary is what we call a school day.

    Check out the public homeschool charters in your county, and adjacent counties. Many of them offer a hybrid system where you go to enrichment classes 1-4 days a week, and homeschool the other time. We go to the therapists office for our sessions, but other kids at our charter have the therapist come to them.
    I suggest you stay away from McCharters - the Connections, k12, etc institutions that are not specific to your area or allow for true individual attention.

    Here are two sites that list charters:

    This is my favorite site, I trust it to represent homeschooling interests over advertisers.
    California Directory of Charter Schools with Home Study Programs -

    Heres another site, I havent used it but it does appear to have a listing (but with crap McCharters given prominent space).

    A google search for Sonoma Homeschool Charters should also give you good results. Shop around for one that matches what you want

    Good luck!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3


    Welcome. I hope you find something that works for you.

    Does your child seem like they have the energy and enthusiasm to do more learning activities after school or on weekends?

    My 5 year old just started public school because she wanted to try it after homeschooling for 6 months. Even though she loved the learning we did at home and finds the school learning boring, she does not have the energy or enthusiasm to do extra at home most of the time.

    When she does have the energy, she likes doing things online (Math Seeds, Reading Eggs, Starfall). But you said yours gets lots of screen time at school (mine does not get any at the moment as she has found 4 ipads into 20 kids does not mean much availability).

    What sort of things does your child like doing? My oldest (who is fully homeschooled) likes math, reading, languages, and history. So for her, I just get a heap of extra books on all her favorite topics out of the library. There are lots of cool math picture and activity books out there. The "...Lab for Kids" series are great. They have books for all sorts of topics with fun, hands on activities. Like "Math Lab for Kids", which has them building models of different shapes out of gummy lollies/candy. We can get quite a few of the series from our public library.

    My younger one loves art, writing, and hands on science. So for her, I usually just set up a number of activities at the kitchen table and bench and she picks what she wants to do. Paints, baking soda + vinegar, a bowl of water and stuff to throw in it for sink or float, a writing book and pencils and coloring pencils and some inspiration (e.g., a book she has read recently or a photography book) so she can copy or create stories. One she liked doing the other day was making rubbings of different coins, which turned into some math as well. For math, she has also liked if I give her a set of cuisenaire rods and draw up a chart for her and she fills it in with either written numbers or pictures she draws of the cuisenaire rods. For example, she did an addition chart from 1+1 up to 5+5, and I wrote the numbers 1 to 5 across the top and down the side for the columns and rows.
    New Zealand-based freelance science copyeditor. Homeschooling DD 11 (year 7) and DD 6 (year 2).

  5. #4


    Thanks all!

    My kiddo definitely has the energy and enthusiasm to do some extra work throughout the week - it's mostly a matter of starting out with one or two subjects that interest him. We already looked over Math Mammoth together and he was stoked. I've been doing a bunch of research and there are also a few subjects that are book-based and I might get the books just to have on hand a reference at home. He's the kind of kid that wants to look through a whole book when I pull it out for reference, be it my ancient copy of Gray's Anatomy, or my Sibley's bird book, or even the dictionary. I'd like to get him a few things that he can get started on by himself, so If I can find some history and science books that are also audiobooks, he'll dig those too and would likely listen to them until they wear out.

  6. #5


    What sort of level/grade is he at?

    There is Story of the World for history in an audiobook version. We have not used it much but others on here have if you have any questions.
    New Zealand-based freelance science copyeditor. Homeschooling DD 11 (year 7) and DD 6 (year 2).

  7. #6


    If he likes watching skit comedy, he might enjoy Horrible Histories. You could watch a couple on youtube to see if its the kind of thing he digs before purchasing the series. Theyre short, convey interesting tidbits of history, and are pretty irreverent. I probably laugh at them more than my son did.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  8. #7


    He's 7 1/2 and in second grade at school. He's still learning to write properly, and can't spell for beans. He's beginning to read and he's definitely a sight reader (reading whole words without sounding out). He's a bit ahead of his peers in math, and he's way ahead of his peers in comprehension of science and any books that are read to him. Although he's just starting to read himself, we've been reading way above grade level since he was 3. For instance, we've already finished The Mysterious Benedict Society, half of the Harry Potter books, and we're almost halfway through A Series of Unfortunate Events. We also read the Sea of Trolls trilogy back when he was five going on six. Oh, and he LOVES science - he scornfully dismissed some grade level science audiobook that I checked out for him last year, so I hit back with Stephen Hawking's A Briefer History of Time and he listened to the whole thing - he wouldn't let me turn it off!

    Finding books can be hard sometimes, because he's so young, and he doesn't always get the underlying social story that's going on in the book - it's why we stopped Harry Potter halfway through the Goblet of Fire - all the interpersonal relations start ramping up in that book and he was getting bored because he doesn't understand pre-teen angst yet, lol.

  9. #8


    Horrible Histories are probably something I'll save for when he is older. Screen time is very disregulating for him and seems to cause high-level meltdowns. He probably gets an hour of screen time a day at school already, and only the occasional video or movie at home, and only 20 minutes of video game time a week.

  10. #9


    Hello from Sonoma County, CA!
    Horrible Histories and Murderous Maths, and the Horrible Science series are easier to find than the tv series that was just for the histories. We used them at that age.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  11. #10


    They have 3 seasons of Horrible Histories on Amazon Prime Video. My kids loved them when they were little but their father was British so they grew up around British humor. Some of their friends who were not immersed in British culture at home did not find them as funny but your mileage may vary.
    Last edited by MapleHillAcademy; 12-11-2018 at 11:23 AM. Reason: Stupid thing keeps posting before I'm ready....

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Hello from Sonoma County, CA!